Virtual Event - How are food businesses coping with COVID-19 and its aftermath?
Concern is growing that the global outbreak of COVID-19, already a health crisis, could turn into a food crisis. In poor countries, the need for food assistance could increase dramatically, and in some rich nations too, the pandemic has put many at risk of hunger.
Food supply chains have largely continued to function, but private operators have faced some serious disruptions—including closure of bars, restaurants, hotels, and schools as well as shifts in consumer demand. Some sub-sectors, especially fruits and vegetables and meat packing and processing, have suffered supply chain disruptions because of COVID-19 infections, logistics problems, and/or unavailability of seasonal workers. Such disruptions have caused both significant food loss and waste and reduced availability of the affected foods to consumers.
Without food, there can be no health. With this stark warning, this seminar will look at: How should governments balance the need to protect lives from COVID-19 and the need to protect livelihoods? What food sector innovations and changes (automatization, e-commerce) are being introduced to ensure food supply chains can function without disruption as we fight COVID-19? How can “green lanes” be created for seasonal and migrant labor to work safely in food production? How are private food businesses adjusting to shifts in food demand and food safety requirements, on the one hand, and risks of supply chain disruptions, on the other?
- Steven Bartholomeusz, Policy Director, Food Industry Asia (FIA)
- Robbert de Vreede, Executive Vice-President, Global Foods, Unilever (Presentation)
- Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, CEO, Coldhubs Nigeria (Presentation)
- Thomas Reardon, Professor, Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University
- Johan Swinnen, Director General, IFPRI
- Rob Vos, Director, Markets, Trade and Institutions Division, IFPRI
- Rajul Pandya-Lorch, Director, Communications and Public Affairs & Chief of Staff, Director General's Office, IFPRI